Tracy LaQuey Parker


Tracy LaQuey Parker

As one of the Internet's early evangelists, Tracy LaQuey Parker wrote two of the first best-selling books about the Internet: The Internet Companion (Addison-Wesley, 1992, foreword by Vice President Al Gore), a layman's guide to the Internet, was the first trade book published and an international bestseller translated into eight languages, as well as the first commercial book to simultaneously be made available for free online. The User's Directory of Computer Networks (Digital Press, 1988) was a comprehensive guide and directory to academic networks around the world, now a valuable historic record of the NSFNET.

She was introduced to the Internet in 1988, working at the Texas Higher Education Network at the University of Texas System, representing THEnet statewide and nationally. In 1991 she created user and network information services for the Texas Education Network (TENET), one of the leading pioneers in providing Internet access to all K-12 teachers in Texas.

Parker then worked in the Chief Technology Office of Cisco Systems, where she founded its Worldwide Education focus and Advanced Internet Initiatives, and continued to promote the Internet in academic environments and K-12 schools. She also led Cisco's participation in Internet Society activities internationally.

Parker carries the distinction of being the first individual to successfully sue a spammer, who forged her domain name, in a lawsuit that helped to advance legal understanding of the digital frontier.

Watch an interview on her contribution